Category Archives: blessings

The Pain is Great-But God is Greater!

FibroWarrior

I  am a FIBRO WARRIOR. I battle my body every single day.  Pain is ever present, it never leaves.

When I was first diagnosed in 2010, I was relieved that all the pain and agony I had been facing for several years was real.  So many doctors, test and procedures and being told “there’s nothing wrong” or “it’s all in your mind” was the worst thing that could happen. Feeling lost as if a ship, adrift at sea, and no land in sight. No hope of anyone understanding how I felt. People thinking I was being over dramatic or lazy at best. Others being sympathetic, but were tired of hearing the same thing over and over. I began to think it was all in my mind.

After the diagnosis, I was looking forward to some type of treatment that would end this hell I was living. Unfortunately, there is no cure at this time for fibromyalgia. What I suffer with, the symptoms I incur daily, may not be what another person with fibromyalgia suffers with. There are over 250 symptoms and overlapping conditions associated with this disorder, commonly known as FMS.

Today, I am in severe pain. I haven’t done anything out of my normal to be in this kind of pain. I know the rainy weather we are having is helping to exacerbate the pain.  Cool, moist weather always seems to affect me horribly.  Warm, HOT weather, I thrive in. Not so for many of my friends that have FMS. They droop like flowers that haven’t been watered in HOT weather.

While on was on vacation last week, being in the very warm weather in Southwest Florida, I felt the best I had felt in years. Being able to get in a pool daily and move without pain, under the water was heavenly. However living underwater is not an option. It was however, a daily relief.  My sleep patterns were better. I felt rested for the first time in a long time. And I was. I took the time to sit and relax, enjoy some quality time with people in my life and just be.

Walking is becoming more difficult day by day. My cane goes with me everywhere and some days I need to use the walker. I do not have a walker with a seat, but I know I will be getting one in the future. I miss the things I used to  enjoy because walking is so uncomfortable. I need to be able to sit and rest from time to time and many places, stores, etc. do not have seating.  Missing out on family outings and activities because my energy levels are just not there anymore.

My skin is very hypersensitive. I can have a hair land on my arm when brushing my hair out of the morning and knowing there is a piece on my arm, but I can’t see it to remove it is frustrating. I constantly itch, no matter what medicated lotions my doctor prescribes. As a result, I have sores on my skin that I itch raw and then reopen when scratching them.

The stiffness in my joints becomes increasingly worse day by day. And I could go on and on about the horrific ways I feel each day, but I won’t.

I serve a God that loves me. I love him. I know that no matter what I go through in life, whether it be my internal suffering or financial hardships or family difficulties, He is always with me. He comforts me when I am struggling. Suffering from a chronic illness helps me comfort others and offer encouragement. No matter what I face in this life, or what you face, God is right there, waiting for you to seek him out. Pray to him.

Do you suffer with something in your life that you think no one else would understand or could empathize with you? We are all facing battles in our life everyday and no one can understand what you are facing unless they walk in your shoes. But God knows, He wants you to draw close to Him. He weeps when we are in pain.

People ask why do bad things happen to good people? I don’t know why. But I do know that God will use everything in your life for good, according to His purpose.

Today is a day of celebration. Independence Day. I had planned on going to our church and helping pass out water and food to people parking in the lot to see our town fireworks. When I woke up, and dressed for the day, that was the plan. But unfortunately, plans have changed. Just walking from one room in the house to another has been hard today. The thought of walking in a huge lot, in the rain, will not work for me. If I go when I am struggling to make it just through the day, it will exacerbate my symptoms and bring on a flareup.  My pain will heighten and fatigue will engulf me. Am I disappointed that I have had to change my plans at the last minute-you betcha.

I grieve the Carlene that is no longer here. Someone that used to love to go hiking, spending time outdoors, going to flea markets and outdoor sales, someone that could ride a bike just for fun and take daily walks in the neighborhood. I have become a prisoner in my own home; I know how to navigate around it and can sit or lie down when needed.  Going shopping, even to the store, is challenging. I must have a list-in the order things are in the store, so I don’t have to keep weaving back in forth to find what I need.

I grieve because there are many things we would like to do as a family, but I don’t have the energy to do it. I sit on the sidelines of life and wonder how much longer will this go on? And then I realize that I am still very blessed. I can breathe on my own. I can see and hear, I can walk, I have a home, a husband, children, grandchildren, family and friends that love me and the suffering doesn’t go away, but it doesn’t become my main focus in life.

My main focus is to share Jesus with others. To share my story with them. Jesus carries me when I am too tired to make it on my own. Jesus holds me and rocks me when I am sad. Jesus loves me even when I don’t love myself.  He is my rock, my fortress and my salvation.

 

Psalm 94:18-19 New Living Translation (NLT)

18 I cried out, “I am slipping!”
    but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me.
19 When doubts filled my mind,
    your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.

May you find comfort in the arms of the Savior! Blessings to you and Happy Independence Day!

Much love-

Carlene

 

 

 

 

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Sowing Seeds

Sowing Seeds

For anything to grow and become a great harvesting, you must be willing to prepare the soil, plant the seeds, nourish them and love them..

As a  person that used to have beautiful flower beds before the art of bending my knees was a major task, I would always, prepare the soil-pulling weeds and rocks or any form of rubble and dig the holes or rows for the seeds to be planted, cover the seeds, keep them watered, fed and pruned as needed.

I am a child of God, so I understand the process. In order for us to grow and become like Christ Jesus, we needs seeds of kindness and love planted in our lives.  If the seeds are not nurtured, and cared for, we can become like weeds in the garden of life. We need to be nourished by the Word of God and pruned from time to time.

Anyone that is able to  read, can read the Bible. If you choose only to read it and use scripture taken out of context, you can end up hurting yourself or someone else in the process.  Jesus is the living water and He nourishes my soul. There are times though, that he needs to prune me because of my heart attitude~maybe it has become bitter about circumstances or the weeds (worries) of life take over and darkness or doubt creeps in and fear rises. Weeds can also be toxic people that are part of your life.

Have you ever had a friend, that you loved with all your heart? Someone you could never imagine cutting ties with, no matter what the circumstances were, but then something happened so out of the “norm” that you knew you had to make a choice. A loving choice.

That happened with me and one of my very best friends.  It was a hard decision to come to, I cried, I prayed. If it had not been for the Holy Spirit leading me to take the steps I did, I might have succumbed to the toxicity in her home. Her son had many problems with addictions and lived with her on and off.  She would never put him out, even if she knew that was the best for her, for her safety.  He was her only child. As a parent, I understood how hard it is to think of kicking your beloved to the curb and I  have only had to do it once for a few weeks, thank goodness. Tough love isn’t easy that’s why it’s called tough love. The toxicity in her abode hit you as soon as you entered through the door, the darkness loomed overhead and she was a light, the only light in that darkness, but it was unhealthy and would totally suck the life out of anyone for any length of time.  But, I loved her like a sister and it broke my heart to tell her I could no longer visit her in her home. We could meet somewhere for coffee or a meal, she was always welcome in our home, but I could no longer allow myself to be there.  I know this hurt her immensely. I would never ask her to choose her son or me, that’s not who I am, but I knew I couldn’t continue to be in that type of environment.

There were days I felt like I had failed her as a friend. She was alone much of the time and emotionally abused with guilt from her child. It wasn’t my place to judge. We would converse on the phone and share the Word with one another.  Her faith wavered and I stood strong. Sometimes, it takes being in a difficult situation and letting the Lord work through you and for you. She knew she was in a hard situation, but she also knew in her heart she couldn’t handle being separated from her son. I loved her and she loved me, but eventually the toxicity of her life was her demise.  I miss her. But I know she is happy because she is dancing in paradise with Jesus. She’s with her parents. I’ll see her again when it’s my time to go home.

My faith is strong. I choose to trust God in all circumstances. I am constantly be pruned and refined into the person God has chosen for me to be. He is the Potter. I am the clay. I make mistakes and sometimes my failures are overwhelming, but he always shows me grace. We must continue to not just read the Word, but apply it to our lives and be more like Christ. It has gotten a whole lot easier for me because I have friends that plant seeds of love and kindness into me daily. They see the world, in it’s fallen state and know without Jesus in our lives, it’s extremely difficult to grow.  It’s all about nurturing one another, rebuking when necessary and looking through the eyes of love.

May you have a bountiful harvest in your life. Jesus loves you!

Many blessings until next time,

Carlene

 

 

 

 

A Three Cord Strand

Ecclesiastes 4:12 New International Version (NIV)

12 Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

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When I read that verse above, it reminds me of my marriage to my husband, Michael. And it reminds me of how far Jesus has brought us from where we once stood. We celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary yesterday; had we never divorced two times prior, we would have celebrated twenty one years this year.

Yes, you read that correctly.  We have been married to each other twice before and both times ended in divorce (for about 1 1/2-2 years in between) because we did not have God as head of our home, our lives or our family.  We tried to make both previous marriages work, but it’s difficult when both of you don’t have the same beliefs and values.  There were illnesses and addictions involved in making the first two marriages crash and burn. It took a lot of soul searching and seeking guidance and prayer to make it to number 3.

Many of our family and friends thought it was ridiculous to marry twice, so sharing with them that we were going to do it for a third and last time seemed too difficult. So we only shared it with one close friend and our children (from our marriage).  Our son was ecstatic, our daughter was wary. She was old enough to remember how the first two times worked out and was skeptical, this time would be any better.

This time was different. Why and how was it different? My husband had always believed in Jesus, but he had never really given his life to Jesus. Totally surrendering all to him. He had proposed several times and I had politely refused, even though my love for him was still very strong, citing past history and the emotional turmoil it created in our lives. I was sure I didn’t want to head down that path again. I shared with him that I had started attending church again and I was alive for the first time in a long time. I had come back to the Lord and would not remarry him if he did not have the same passion about Jesus that I did. That was the one and only time I have ever given him an ultimatum in the 23 years that we have known one another. I knew this was not something that I would feel right about in my heart and God knew that too.

For all intensive purposes, we had a “probationary” dating period of 6 months. Anyone can say that they are a Christian and profess to love Jesus, but I wasn’t taking any chances this third time. I needed to know in my heart of hearts that this was what God wanted for both of us and our families.  He said I’ll try going to church with you, but I’m not too sure about all of this.  As it turns out, he loved going with me and got involved in the Men’s Group and Celebrate Recovery groups and on June 9, 2008 we were married for the final time.

We had planned on telling his two older daughters (from his very first marriage) and the remainder of our families slowly.  Not wanting to cause undue stress on our lives or hear many bitter opinions as why is was not a great idea. Unfortunately, the best laid plans of “man” are not the same plans God has for our lives. Within two months of being remarried, Michael was diagnosed with colon cancer and knowing that it would be up to me to make any decisions if he wasn’t able to, telling all of our family became a priority.

Our parents weren’t really surprised and only wanted what was best for our family. The older daughters were more agitated about not being invited, than not knowing. Our siblings had quite different opinions, but because siblings love you no matter what, everyone dealt with it.

After the diagnosis, we prayed harder, enlisted prayer warriors, cried, worried, and then I said something to the effect, “If the Lord wanted us to be back together, than he will carry us through this and whatever is necessary, we will do together.”  Part of living out your faith in Jesus, is “living” it out, not just saying you have faith and then when something comes along that takes your breath away, sink into a pit of despair and not do anything.

I am pleased to say, my husband is a cancer survivor. He had a major part of his colon removed in 2008, but never required any type of Chemo or Radiation treatments. Praise God!  That moment in time, strengthened his faith in Jesus. He was so overwhelmed that God would answer the prayers for  the surgeons to get it all and he wouldn’t have to have treatments, just yearly checkups.  His first words upon hearing, they had gotten it all and the lymph nodes looked good, was I can’t believe Jesus loves me this much! Tears of joy were shed that day.  Tears of thankfulness to a Faithful Savior that is always there.

In the past 8 years, we have had many tests as husband and wife, but the difference now, versus the previous 2, is that we have God at the center of us. God has taught us what mercy and grace are all about. He has taught us what it means to truly love one another .

Mike, used to get upset with me when I would share our testimony with others, always saying it was in the past and that’s where it needs to stay.  For me, sharing Jesus and what he has done in my life and how far he has brought me, are part of my story.  It took a while for that to be okay with Mike. We have two totally different perspectives. Mine is if I have gone through something and learned from it, healed from it, or grown from it, than when the time is right, I need to share with those that need to see how the Lord works in my life. Mike’s perspective has always been, it’s no one’s business, my life is my life and I like to be private. If people like me, they like me for who I am now, not who I used to be.

It became a major topic for a long time, until he realized that everything he has been through in his life, has made him the person he is today and when he stops and thinks about it, he also realizes that Jesus was and will always be with him.

2 Corinthians 1:4 New Living Translation (NLT)

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.

Being married means you have to be able to love and accept all the quirks and flaws you perceive your husband/wife to have. You have to be able to realize that there will be many valleys and mountains to climb, that not all days will be smooth sailing, but that God will direct the sails if you trust him.

We continue to  attend church together  and are involved in the Women’s and Men’s ministries and continue to grow in the Lord. Being married is work, hard work, but well worth it when you finally realize that God has to come first or nothing will work right in your lives.  God has plans for all of our lives.  And he will use any mess, any mistake, anything that is not of him and he will use it for good according to his purpose and his plan.

I look back on the past 23 years of knowing Michael and I can say without a doubt that God has grown both of us and stretched our faith in many challenging times, but in the end grace always wins.

Remember that Jesus Loves You! No matter what you are facing or where you are in your life right now, He is always just a prayer away.

Blessings to you,

Carlene

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Mike and Carlene -Married June 9, 2008

Where to start?

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This morning as I strolled down the stairs, into the front room of the house, dimly lit by the streetlamps outside, I was confronted with tiny little legos, scattered amidst magnetic wooden puzzle pieces and books that look like there was an avalanche in the toddler department and I am sure there was. Mr. T. as I will call him. He’s our grandson. He’s an energetic, high-strung two year old.  He loves all of his toys and he carries them from room to room.  And books galore. Every kind of book you can imagine. Board books, musical books, Dr. Seuss (those are out of reach because they have actual pages that he can tear), several Children’s Bible’s, touch books with different textures, the list goes on and on.  He won’t sit still long enough to read him any book, except one, but he loves flipping through the pages and looking at the pictures.  And because all of these things bring him so much joy, I can’t be mad that I stepped on that pointed little lego or almost tripped over the mound of books.  I can only stand in the doorway and think of how blessed I am.

Yesterday, I was quite overwhelmed sitting in my kitchen looking at all the clutter around me.  I am still trying to adjust to not working. If I had retired at retirement age, I might be more settled, had time to ease into this, but retiring early for health reasons, puts a whole new spin on things. What I can’t understand is where did all this stuff come from? When did it appear? Has it always been here and I was so busy and tired from working that I didn’t notice?  Obviously, that is the case. I haven’t seen any strange people coming in dumping their stuff in my home-except for the strange people I live with-my family.

Listen to my prayer, O God. Do not ignore my cry for help! Please listen and answer me, for I am overwhelmed by my troubles. – Psalm 55:1-2 NLT

There are so many things that need to be removed from here…..boxes still sitting in a storage room of the house from when we moved in here, over 5 years ago…and then on top of all the chaos, as I call it, there’s Mr. T.  He tries to be helpful, but his idea of helping and mine, don’t quite line up. He tries to help me fold the laundry, but after I have painstakingly folded nearly 5-6 baskets of clothing, he pulls them out, onto the table and does his own folding and then tosses them in the basket.  (insert long sigh here)

Our dust has dust.  Pet fur seems to follow me everywhere I go in the house, no amount of dusting, sweeping and mopping seems to help.  Dishes are never ending and sometimes I feel like I have traded my full time paid job for a full time job with no pay.

But then the most amazing thing happened to cheer me up. Mr. T. toddled his way over to me, outstretched his arms to be picked up and gave me a hug and a kiss. And that is when I was reminded that stuff is just stuff and dust will always be around, unless you live in a sterile environment.

Jesus used Mr. T. to remind me that life is about being happy and content with where you are at the moment. Loving others. Finding the silver lining in every moment that you feel down and discouraged and overwhelmed to the point you can’t even explain how overwhelmed you are-not to yourself or anyone else for that matter.  When the end comes, you won’t be able to take anything with you, so why fret so much about it now.

It is so easy to get caught up in the world and forget about what is truly important. Loving Jesus and Loving others. Showing mercy and grace. And remembering that I am not Ms. Perfect, nor will I ever be.

 

Yesterday God’s timing was perfect to put my heart back in the right operating mode. If I am to be like Jesus, I have to be willing to extend mercy when I really want to be angry about the messes that keep piling up. I have to be willing to remember that all of us fall short in many areas and we can keep tabs of what people do and say to us or we can show grace and forgive one another.  I am choosing mercy and grace and I know that when I start getting that “overwhelming” feeling again, God will convict me and correct me in the loving manner he always does.

For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness.No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening-it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. – Hebrews 12:10-11 NLT

©Jesuslovemercyandme.com20160531_211609 (2)Mr. T

Jesus Loves ♥ You! Blessings and thanks for stopping by,

Carlene

 

 

 

 

 

 

Times of Adjustment

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All of us face changes in our lives at some point. Some may be welcome changes and others may not be, but the one thing that is true is that God is already there ahead of us, preparing a way for us to walk into that change.

As  I walk out this new journey I am on, some days are harder to get through than others. I have lived with Fibromyalgia for over 10 years, but until recently, I was able to push through the pain and suffering and keep going, even when my body told me it was time to stop.

In April, however, I decided to retire early because along with the Fibro, I have other conditions that combined together, made it a struggle daily to just put one foot in front of the other.  There are days like today, that it has been all I can do to hold the tears at bay.  My emotions are all over the place. I remember how much I used to be able to do and I didn’t need a cane and/or walker to get around.  Now, even walking in my own home is somewhat difficult.

I know I am not the only one that suffers with a chronic painful illness that is next to impossible to diagnose and just as hard for people to understand.  Both times my children were born, the pain was great, but I would rather go through that kind of pain again and again, because it is only temporary and will soon subside and you can go back to normal again.

My sleep patterns are way off the charts. When I was working, I was up very early and went to bed late in the evening. Now that I am not working outside of the home, I have insomnia and can’t go right to sleep and then struggle to become upright during the day. When I am having a good day, I can tolerate the pain.  I have tolerated it for years. I do not take pain meds at this time because I want to be able to be with it as long as I can. I know there are some that suffer from this disorder that need it and that’s okay.  But I am such a lightweight, that when it comes to medications for pain relief, two extra strength over the counter pills usually knock me out.

I think what is so difficult is the symptoms vary in degree and severity from day to day. So, no two days are alike.  It’s hard to explain to your grandchildren, why you can’t take them to the park or do fun things anymore.  That has been on the decline for some time now. We find other ways to have fun grandma and me time, but it’s not the same.

A friend once suggested to me that being diagnosed with a Chronic Lifelong Illness, is somewhat like going through grief.  She was and is right.  I remember all the things I used to be able to do and now they are a distant memory.  Even doing dishes and cooking, are a chore because I can’t stand for any great length of time or my legs and back almost give out from the pain associated with the degenerative disc disease and arthritis in my lower spine area.

I find joy in writing and reading and spending time with God and learning His Word and sharing Jesus with anyone that asks.  I know God has great plans for me. I am just not sure where to start with these plans. It’s easy to write on topics you are familiar with or have a passion about, but how do you get ideas to write on topics you could care less about or have no idea?  So, I am slowly adjusting to this new call God has placed on my life.

Blogging helps me to see that even though it may be tough, I can make it. I see and read all the challenges that people face daily and I try to remember that no matter what I am going through, I can comfort others because I may know how they feel and I can glorify God in the process.

And last but not least today, I know that God will use what I am going through for His purpose.  Jesus said when he came, that we would face suffering and trials, but to trust in Him and with His strength, we could accomplish anything.

Blessings to you, may you still hear God speaking to your heart. And remember, any mess in your life, Jesus can take that mess and turn it into a message of hope and victory.

God loves you and He is always just a prayer away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work in Progress

I have said this to many people in the past, and funny how now I am hearing my own words, echoing in my mind. God isn’t finished with you yet. He still has work for you to do. images

So, as I sit here reflecting over the decisions I have made in the last month, I realize that we are all a “work in progress” daily as we walk with the Lord. He doesn’t want us to stay in one place for the rest of our lives or one position or even one church.

I attended a Vineyard church for over 8 years and thought I would never leave there. I loved it there. Loved the people, felt the presence of God and loved all the outreach and encouraging ministries there were to show God’s love in a practical way.  They were my family.  And they are still part of my family, but God had other plans for me.

At the end of my journey with the Vineyard family, I felt a tug on my heart to leave there and go to another local church, for which I have been in attendance for over a year and a half now. It wasn’t easy. It was quite painful to say goodbye. But, God equips us in many ways and has many tools to watch us grow, so we can serve Him better in advancing His Kingdom-Earth as it is in Heaven Kingdom.

Sometime’s God moves us to help us grow, sometimes he moves us to help others grow, but in the grand scheme of things, He knows so much better than we could ever hope or imagine. Our minds can’t comprehend all of his detailed plans, that’s why we get just what we need to go and grow.

I was posed the question at our Women’s Ministry Life Group (as well as other women) was there ever a time in your life when God was pruning you to be the person he chose you to be and was it painful or how did it grow you?

So, I shared this testimony with them and now I will share it with you.

About 8 or 9 years ago, while I was at work on the sales floor of the store I worked in and I was counting product to make sure the inventory counts were correct and checking pricing to make sure there were no errors, a customer turns and enters the aisle where I am working. I stood up, and asked her if there was anything I could help her with. She shakes her head no and thanks me. So, I stoop back down to the lower shelf and start recounting the items, but I notice she is still standing there, looking sad and forlorn and then I hear God saying you need to pray for her.  Now, as luck would have it, at that time, I was terrified of saying prayers out loud.  I know it sounds silly. But I was great at praying for someone in a letter, email or text message, but actually praying aloud scared me something fierce. So, I just kept counting and I kept feeling the urging to pray for her. I know that I argued  silently with the Lord, saying things like, really?? You want me to pray for her? You know this makes me really uncomfortable Lord???Why can’t someone else do it?? Why me??? But the more I kept thinking this way, the stronger the sense came that I needed to do it.

So, as I stood up, I asked God to give me the words to speak with this woman again. (This all took about 30-60 seconds to argue with God and lose.)

She was still standing there, as if she was waiting on something or possibly someone. Again, I said are you sure there isn’t anything I can do for you? I said my name is Carlene, what’s your name, if I might ask? She told me her name was Robin and then the tears started flowing and this is what she said.

“I have a brain tumor. My doctor has told me without the surgery I will die for sure. And with the surgery, there is a 50-50 chance they will get it all. I believe in Jesus. My family doesn’t.  They think that I should not do the surgery and just stay with them for the time I have left. I am so afraid right now. I have prayed and I feel like this is what I am supposed to do, but I just don’t know. “And the tears kept flowing.

I said to her, “Robin would it be okay if I prayed for you?” She said, “yes, that would be okay.” I said, “now, can I pray for you here right now?” She was overwhelmed with joy and said yes, please.  I asked God to give me the words and I asked her out loud if I could place my hand on her shoulder and pray. With her permission, I prayed. I have no idea what i said, I let the Holy Spirit guide my words. When I finished, she hugged me and thanked me and I told her she was welcome. Then the most astonishing thing happened, she said,”today as I was leaving my home to get the things I needed, I asked God to give me a sign that He was in control and that if I went through with this surgery,everything would be okay; and now I know without a doubt, I am having the surgery. Maybe, my family will finally believe in Jesus!”

And then, I cried. We hugged and she went on with her shopping and I just stood there-in awe and amazement that God had used me to increase her faith in Him and his promises.

Well, I must say that I wasn’t much good for working my normal job anymore that day. I went to my office and shared with my co-worker, what had just happened and I was so overwhelmed with joy and I can’t even begin to describe the emotions I was experiencing, just wow!

Had I not listened to the prompting to pray for her, would He have found someone that was willing to be obedient to His calling for Robin? And I would have missed out on the huge blessing it was for me to pray for her.

That day changed my life. I learned that we can stay stuck in our comfort zones or we can learn to experience what God has for us by simply trusting that His Will is so much better than we can imagine.

Fast forward 9 years, and I am without employment as I sit here and write this out. My choice, by the leading of God.  When  you have been employed somewhere for over 16 years, but know that it is time to leave for many reasons-mainly major health issues, the part of you that used to worry about making ends meet realizes that if changes are not  made you might meet your end, you start asking God what is the next step? What is His Will for your life? I know we all stay in jobs, because we have bills and responsibilities and I have always strongly believed in taking care of those priorities and still do, but when God gave me the peace I needed to leave, it was like nothing I could explain. If you don’t live with the Peace of God in  your heart, it’s hard to explain. But you just know, He has it all worked out and you just trust Him. That’s what I am doing now and where I am at now.

God has placed a call on my heart to share His story of love and grace. I am now in the final draft stage of a book that was written with His input. Am I worried that no one will like it? No, not really. I know it has been a blessing to me and the few friends I have shared it with and I know God is happy with it. Would I love to become an author that shares His Word and his promises? Well, I never really gave it much thought until God placed this on my heart. I guess I would have to say yes. I love sharing my testimonies with others. When the book is complete, I will share a link on here for anyone that is interested in grabbing a copy.

The best thing I can say now, is listen to what God is telling you. Even if you think, there is no way, Lord. No way, I can do this. Remember this – you can do ALL things through Jesus Christ, He is your strength!

God loves you and so do I! May your days be filled with blessings and may your cup overflow with love!

Until next time,

Carlene

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a plan

I know God has a plan and a purpose for my life as sure as I sit here. I have not been on here for a while, because I have been having health difficulties and trying to deal with them. But the one verse that I cling to is Jeremiah 29:11

“I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and future.”

Even when I can’t see the outcome, I can thank Him in advance for all the blessings he has and will bestow upon me. My faith is strong and I trust in the Lord with all my heart.

I live with chronic pain, every day, but I know that no matter what I go through or how I feel, God will use everything for good according to His purpose.  Some days are harder than others to get through, but I get through them because I lean on Jesus Christ and cry out when I am not sure what words to say or how to express what I need to; I know the Holy Spirit will intercede on my behalf.

While celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ today at church, our pastor was speaking on how our lives may seem empty, just as the tomb was found empty all those years ago and because of the darkness in the world, and in our own little worlds, sometimes, in the emptiness, we struggle with what to do and where to turn, and sometimes we forget that God is right there with us as we struggle. He hurts when we hurt, and he is sad for us when we are struggling. He died so that we could have victory and not be overcome by the darkness.

It is my prayer, that if you feel lost and alone, that you will remember that God is with you. He will never leave you or forsake (forget) you.  He loves to hear from His children, and help them in only ways He can.  He is the most loving Father you will ever have, or need.

May the God of Hope and Love wrap His arms around you and give you peace and joy.

Happy Easter!

Much love and blessings,

CarleneJesus welcoming home